All About the Custom Vanities in our Bathroom

January 19, 2021

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We’ve been officially moved into our bathroom for about a month now (cue celebration music) but we still have a few details to finish up before the reveal. If you are doing any sort of renovating or redecorating right now, you know that shipping times are crazy long, so we’re just being patient.  Last week we played musical light fixtures above the tub), but we would not be where we are without the never-before-introduced supporting role in the show: say hello to the bathroom vanities. 

This year we’ve had a lot of contractors coming in and out of our house, which happily led us to meet Dustin of Pins & Tails. Dustin has a passion for wood working and we were so pleased with how he refinished our front door, that we HAD to ask him if he would be interested in making the cabinetry for our bathroom vanities.

Best decision.

In the inspiration mood board we put together, I included these jaw-dropping fluted cabinets I had heart eyes for. Everything about them made me swoon, including the medium to dark wood tone and the inset cabinets that sit ever-so-flush. I showed Dustin and he was all-in. I also expressed that I wanted the vanities to mimic more of a furniture piece, rather than built-ins and he suggested a more hidden toe-kick so that we get the look of a furniture piece, without all the dust and lost things accumulating beneath. I love the sound of that. 

When I was designing the upper cabinets on my side, I really wanted them to mirror the two 5’ windows on Chris’s side. Just a little nod of symmetry.

Are you ready for a confession? If I could do it again…

…I wouldn’t do the towers. I spent so much time researching, and so many people said the standing storage was necessary. I thought I would love having all the added storage, but it’s just a LOT of storage. I underestimated how much I would be able to fit in all the drawers and the uppers aren’t quite being used to their full potential yet. Although, maybe with time I’ll be able to fill them. Their story is just beginning.

Besides the aesthetics, we needed our vanity to function for us, which led to a taller counter-height of 37 ½” (Chris and I are quite tall and this height feels like a true luxury!), and also hidden outlets inside of the drawers and cabinets. 

Dustin showed us some samples of several wood types and stains, and ultimately we loved how the Provincial stain treated the Alder wood. It applied so evenly, and was a more affordable option than oak or walnut. 

As soon as the bathroom tile was in, Dustin installed our vanities and he did not disappoint. Dustin used a router for every single fluted line. 1500 beautiful, hand-crafted lines. 

So let’s get into it. All of the drawers are soft-close, and at this point, I can’t imagine going back to any other type of “close” to be honest. Talk about satisfaction. The hinges on the cabinet doors are actually set into the wood instead of screwed on the outside. This was Dustin’s solution to make them flush, plus they can actually open wider than 90 degrees which is a luxury I didn’t know I needed until now. All the doors also have a magnetic close so they stay in place. Few things are more annoying than a cabinet door that doesn’t want to stay closed, especially since I like to keep a little trash can hidden under the sink.

We decided to use these 1 1/4″ brass knobs for the drawers and cabinets (these from Rejuvenation are similar) because we used the same ones (albeit the smaller version) in our closet and I really wanted the suite to tie together. 

Chris’s favorite thing about his side is the outlet inside of his drawer. He is able to open one drawer and get completely ready. His shaver and blow dryer (yes, blow dryer) are already plugged in and ready to go, and he can just simply close the drawer when he’s done, leaving no evidence behind.

Custom cabinets are not the most affordable so we wanted to share how something custom like this might cost. Materials and labor included, we landed at about $8,000. That price reflects a little higher than usual because of the hand-crafted fluting, which for us was so worth it.

We hope to share photos of the finished bathroom soon!!


Wall Color: Alabaster by Sherwin Williams
Trim Color: Lamp Room Gray by Farrow & Ball
Windows: Pella Architect Series
Towel Ring
Hand Soap
Vase (similar)
Faux Stems
Cabinet Knobs
Maple Tree
Peony Art
Cloud Art

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What do you think?

  1. Your bathroom vanity is a true work of art – a perfect marriage of elegance and functionality!

  2. A great blend of personal experience, design insights, and practical advice for those considering custom vanities in their bathrooms. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This was wonderfully written. The furniture is absolutely lovely and elegant. Custom furniture has many advantages for sure. Very useful that the dryer and shaver are ready to go, without the fuzz.

  4. Gina A says:

    Gorgeous! Wondering how wide are your cabinets are?

  5. He did a beautiful job and I love the “toe kick” and how it looks like anything but a toe kick!

  6. Amy says:

    The fluting and inset on those cabinets is gorgeous!

    Too bad about the blotchy stain on the alder wood though. I made that mistake once too, and now I know that you get what you pay for with alder.

  7. Pia says:

    Wow. That is a lot of storage. In our bathroom we have two drawers (60 cm = 2 feet? wide) and one upper cabinet with three narrow shelves. That’s it. For both me and my husband. I guess that storage needs depends on a lot of things. I don’t think I would ever fill up three drawers by myself in a bathroom. And 6 + under the sink and the towers? Not even if I put all my towels, all of additional shampoo bottles, toothpaste, toilet paper and all cleaning supplies for the bathroom would fill that space.
    But the cabinets are really lovely to look at! Love that darker wood tone!

  8. Lauren says:

    My friend said the same thing about her bathroom tower! ????????‍♀️ $8k seems reasonable for the work and awesome features. Especially love the hidden toe kick. Thanks for sharing these details with us. The vanities are stunning.

  9. Tars says:

    So beautiful!! Curious to know what you would have done if you didn’t do the towers … agree the symmetry would be off without them, so what else might have worked? Love following along and can’t wait to see the kitchen reno coming up!

  10. KOKO says:

    Julia, the vanities are absolutely stunning. Beautiful woodworking. Thank you for sharing the price. $8000 for 2 vanities and 2 towers doesn’t seem terribly high for solid wood and custom work.

    It’s nice to have room to grow storage-wise as well too.

  11. Carrie says:

    The infinity effect in the mirrors on that first pic is making my dizzy! :)
    These vanities are truly stunning! They will last forever.
    I always wondered about the tower storage being worth it. Mostly because I’m SUPER short, but I feel like anything at the top would be forgotten about 10 minutes after I stashed it there. Although I may have been tempted to hold onto my hot rollers if I’d had that space.

  12. Rhonda says:

    Beautiful! We are in the planning stages of master bath remodel. Do the sconces provide enough light for makeup etc?

  13. Mirror says:

    I looove seeing the darker wood. The white oak trend is beautiful and I’ve pined over many images. But now that we’re ready to start decorating, I keep choosing darker toned woods. The contrast is just so nice. I want to put it everywhere!

    I need to find more designers to follow because my feed is filled with too much white oak (or painted wood projects) and it’s bumming me out.

  14. Meg says:

    SO lovely. Would love a peek (or full tour?!) of what’s inside the cabinets! :)

  15. Sarah says:

    Gorgeous! I’m shocked at the price-I would expect such a large, custom, detailed wood piece of furniture to be much more. Was the countertop separate? I can’t recall if you’ve mentioned before but is it quartz?

  16. C says:

    I thought certain elements looked similar to your last master bathroom and I took a look and I saw that the faucets, mirror and knobs are all the same, but just different finishes. I love how you stuck with certain things that work well for you and you clearly love but that the overall look is still so different when comparing the two rooms. Well done!

  17. julie vandenberghe says:

    The cabinets are so gorgeous. You did a great job designing it, it just looks so rich and timeless. I don’t think you could ever have enough cabinets in a house! You could make one a cabinet for all the pharmaceuticals. The other could be your manicure supplies. I can’t wait to see the full reveal.

  18. Camellia shively says:

    What is the stain color? I didn’t see that in the story

  19. Rachel says:

    Beautiful vanity
    Do you share the sink between both of you ?
    Would mind sharing the inside of the drawer with the hidden outlet ?
    Thank you

  20. Dianne says:

    Divine; pieces of art that live in your master bath. Thanks for the extensive backstory!

  21. Grace says:

    Without a doubt, the most beautiful bathroom cabinets (or just anywhere cabinets!) I have ever seen. Jaw dropping. The finish color, the detail, everything. I would buy this house for that bathroom in a second.

  22. Cici Haus says:

    Won’t the fluting get dusty/dirty? It’s beautiful, but seems impractical to me for a kitchen or bathroom,

  23. Joanna says:

    Honestly, for something that amazing looking, $8000 doesn’t seem bad at all.

  24. Victoria says:

    It looks calming and luxurious. Your choices have come together so beautifully and the woodwork is lovely!

  25. Ally says:

    These are so so so gorgeous. I’m looking into custom cabinets like this for my bathroom reno, but my mother (and interior designer) has expressed concern that they would be difficult to keep clean, with dust accumulating in the teeny tiny spaces between the fluted reeds. What has your experience been so far? Too soon to tell?

    • Julia says:

      It’s only been a few months, but I don’t see any dust?

    • Kelly says:

      We have fluting like this in our kitchen (picked by the previous homeowner’s). It is horizontal and vertical and meets at mitered corners. The horizontal stuff catches EVERYTHING but the vertical is no big deal and it’s all pretty easy to clean.

  26. Mary says:

    I didn’t think I would love anything as much as your closet, and then you go ahead and design this bathroom. I am blown away with jealously of you being able to walk into that room.

  27. Ariel says:

    They are so beautiful! And I’m so excited to see the dark wood after so much lighter wood in the recent trends. With this new style of fluted wood, I’ve been so curious about cleaning it (especially if it was in a kitchen)! I would love an update after a while if you find they’re more difficult to clean!

  28. Nicole says:

    $8,000 for those all in? No way! They are gorgeous! Would your cabinet maker like to make a trip to Pennsylvania?!

    • Linde says:

      Agreed! They are gorgeous! Would he also like to travel to DC?

    • carrie says:

      Agreed! Such beautiful ,custom, solid wood cabinets in that volume at that price is a relative bargain.
      It is wonderful to know there are such talented craftsmen who are willing to partner with clients at such reason price. What a great collaboration! Congratulations, it’s stunning!

  29. Deepa popuri says:

    Thanks for sharing the cost. It’s beautiful snd I think was a worthy investment.

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We believe we should all love where we live.

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